In this article I consider the strengths and weaknesses of theories regarding the mention of prophets’ šārtum u sissiktum (hair and hem) in prophetic texts from Mari. I suggest that royal correspondents sent along the prophets’ šārtum u sissiktum because they were part of the material locus of divine revelation, functioning as proxy omens. As such, they offered royal diviners an efficient and material means of cross-checking prophetic omens through extispicy-derived omens in order to discern divine directives for the security and success of the kingdom. Moreover, the šārtum u sissiktum constituted two data points within a larger divinatory system that discerned the divine will primarily through material and observable media.
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Moran1969a:21. On the significance of oracles uttered publically, see ARM 26 206 (Nissinen 2003:38–39, and 73); Van der Toorn 1988.
Huffmon1968:121. Huffmon also contended that the šārtum u sissiktum provided diviners with a means of determining if the prophet’s oracle warranted attention; Cf. Janzen (1981:104), who follows Moran (1969a), but also Huffmon (1968a).
Heimpel2003:256. Cf. Nissinen’s rendering, “The purification should be performed” (2003:36). On ritual cleansing for zakû(m), only at Mari, see CAD Z:32; Cf. the same ritual in ARM 26 216.
Cf. ARM 26 186; Durand2008:572.
Durand1988:57; cf. Heimpel 2003:256; ARM 26 242. Note that Huffmon has to supply the object suffix for lizakkû.
Lns. 27–31; Nissinen2003:68. Heimpel (2003:268) feels that the hair and hem must have come from the prophetess, and not the messenger (Addu-Duri) herself.
ARM 26 233; Nissinen2003:63; Durand 1988:474, 476 (lns. 53–54).
Oppenheim1952:131; CAD t:65c.
On Dagan at Mari, see Feliu2003:62–213. On oracular inquiry to Dagan, see esp. p. 156. See also Hoskisson 1986.
So Heimpel2003:265and Nissinen 2003:30.
On which, see Finet 1969; Lambert2007:15–16.
Wilson1980:102. This supports Wilson’s contention that āpilum occupied a peripheral role at Mari.
Nissinen2003:36(#14 = ARM 26 204), 68 (#42 = ARM 26 237).
Huffmon1968:121, writes, “In tamitu texts—oracular questions put to certain gods—the person for whom the priest put the question was symbolically present, commonly through a piece from the fringe of his garment or from his fingernail.”
Translation from Heimpel2003:268.
Translation from Heimpel2003:184.
Ibid., 246 (ARM 26 184); Durand1988:366–67(26/1 no. 184:13–14); For additional examples using “dirt clods,” see 26/1 nos. 103 and 153.
On Tuttul, see Heimpel2003:626.
Dalley et al.1976:65; CAD S:323 c. Cf. also the use of the king’s clothing to make his body present in the much later Neo-Assyrian substitute king rituals (e.g., SAA 10 189 and SAA 13 37).
Following Durand1988:306(142:9–10); cf. Heimpel 2003:235. In ARM 26 155 a similar, though broken, statement occurs.
Nissinen2003:65(#39 = ARM 26 234) and 74 (# 47 = ARM 26 371).
Seem Malamat1987:45; Cf. 1 Sam 3:7.
See also Nissinen2003:73–4(#47 = ARM 26 371). For a review of Mesopotamian medical diagnostic omens (symptomatology), see Rochberg 2004:92–97; Heeßel 2000.
Huffmon2000:50. Huffmon’s text comes from Dalley et al. 1976:64–65. See also Lambert 1966:120–21.
Kitz2003:24, 30. Walton (2006:249) endorses and develops Kitz’s claim about materiality.
See ARM 26 182, 198, and 184 in Heimpel2003.
Nissinen2003:53. See also A 1121+ A2731.
See Van der Toorn2000:80, who details the entire process.
Nissinen2003:69. Cf. Malamat 1998:94–101.
See Nissinen2003:47(ARM 26 212), “The [mes]sage which Annui[tum se]nt to you and the one I inquired for are identical.” This statement likely means that the general outcome, and the not the specific wording, of the response was identical—i.e., favorable.
Moran 1969; Janzen1980.
Huffmon2000:49. On the peripheral status of prophets at Mari see Wilson 1980:101.
Oppenheim1974:204, cited by Annus 2010:2. See also Koch-Westenholz 1995:138.